NYTimes David Brooks is taking a bruising for saying in his column he was a sap to believe in Obamaism and the “myth of hope”. Look at the reaction:
Rolling Stone – Why David Brooks Is A Sap
The premise of the piece was that he, Brooks, was a “sap” for believing Barack Obama when Obama pledged, after his election, to rise above partisanship and “move beyond the stale ideological debates that have paralyzed this country.”
For Brooks, “rising above partisanship” always means “not criticizing the rich,” so you can kind of guess where he’s going with this article. He references the recent Obama speech that hinted at tax increases for the wealthy, always a no-no on planet Brooks, where such proposals are always interpreted as “class warfare” and “angry populism.”
Salon – David Brooks gets it all wrong on Obama’s Tax plan
Brooks begins by correctly noting that the jobs package the president introduced a few weeks ago and the $1.5 trillion deficit plan he unveiled Monday represent one big “campaign marker.” This is almost inarguably true: The White House has clearly — and, in my view, correctly — concluded that congressional Republicans are so thoroughly invested in stalling his agenda and humiliating him that they will even oppose policies they have long supported if Obama embraces them. So, because this obstructionism essentially makes significant economic improvement between now and the 2012 election impossible, Obama is trying now to convince swing voters — who tend to instinctively blame the incumbent president when economic anxiety is high — that the real obstacle to progress is the opposition party.
The Economist – President to Politician
This is not to say that the administration has gotten it all right. Certainly not. But there is a political reality that must be acknowledged when confronting Mr Obama’s recent transformation from president to posturer. And had Mr Brooks acknowledged that reality, he might have titled his article, “Intransigent Republicans successfully reject Obamaism, president finally decides to adopt their tactics”. When viewed in this way, the president’s behaviour is not so much disappointing, as it is inevitable.
To add our 5th to the foray, ye Editor would say that David Brooks has been tolerant of GOP tactics such as indiscrimate use of the 60 vote filibuster rule in the Senate; unconscionable delays in approving almost routine cabinet and other executive appointments; devious delays or blatant cutbacks in department funding [all the while saying ‘see Government does not work’]; plus the legacy of 30 years of GOP Presidential deficit spending that added the 90%+ lions share to the the US Budget Deficits – these harsh realities are responsible for the breakdown in partisanship . Brooks, unlike say Andrew Sullivan,is being a Sap for condoning if not outright defending this near-treasonous GOP behavior. The fundamental problem the USA has is that one party, Brook’s Republican Party, which has already embraced the treasonous Starve the Beast policy has likewise now decided there are no limits and any ends justifies their efforts to politically assassinate the President.